Black ice causes wrecks in Kosciusko County

By: Kevin Lewis Email
By: Kevin Lewis Email

Drivers making their morning commute in Kosciusko County had to face some treacherous conditions on the roads.

Tuesday’s warmer temperatures caused a lot of snow to melt, but once night fell, the thermometer followed suit. That turned wet roadways into skating rinks.

"I took a one-way-street in town called Main Street. It was about 6:30 in the morning and it had not been salted yet. So I slid through one intersection and it was pretty iffy on some of the others,” Warsaw resident John DeGroff said.

Just between midnight and 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, officers responded to 36 slide offs and five accidents across the county, the most authorities have seen in at least a year.

One wreck occurred at the intersection of US 30 and E. Van Ness Road after a tractor trailer jack-knifed and blocked traffic for an hour. Only a few miles east, wreckers and salt trucks had to help five semis after they got stuck going up a slippery hill.

The county's 9-1-1 center said it handled more than double the call volume it normally does.

And if the roads weren't enough, police had to assist a handful of people that slipped on Warsaw sidewalks.

"I would much rather deal with snow over the ice. People see the snow and slow down, it's just more visible. However, with the black ice, it's so dangerous and people sometimes just don't realize what's actually on the surface of the road,” Sgt. Chad Hill with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Dept. said.

At any given time, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Dept. and Warsaw Police have no more than nine officers on duty across the county. So with more than 40 accidents, each taking roughly an hour to clean up, officers struggled to manage the mess.

School was cancelled for every district in the county. Classes may be back in session Thursday depending on what weather conditions present Wednesday night.

No one was seriously injured in any of Wednesday morning’s accidents.

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